A frustrating evening for Spurs. Much of the squad rotation has been forced on Redknapp by injuries but no amount of spin can disguise the effect itâ€™s having on quality. Tonight we once again suffered from our continuing inability to stick the ball away in league games. Harry can quite rightly point to the saves made in the first half by Gordon from Van Der Vaart, Bentley and Modric plus the close things from Pav, Kaboul and Huddlestone and a couple of near misses from VdV in the second but the fact is that weâ€™ve now scored only 14 goals in 12 games.
Redknappâ€™s own frustrations showed after the game when he answered a question about the crowdâ€™s reactions to the performance with sarcasm rather than understanding. He should know that everyoneâ€™s desperate to support and lend a hand but to witness points slip away whilst so many passes are misplaced, crosses hit the first man and shots fly at row Z is bound to be dispiriting and cause a reaction.
I personally thought, given the low-key stuff going on on the field, that the crowd and the Park Lane in particular made a good job of creating an atmosphere and getting behind the team. At the end though it was the unintelligible murmurings of the away contingent that were most audible. Theirs was one of the smaller allocations but the fact they filled it on a cold November evening was still notable.
David Bentley managed to end the evening as the most unpopular man on the pitch with the home crowd which was an impressive achievement given the display of Howard Webb. â€œWorld Cup and you f*cked it upâ€ was the song at one point aimed at the man in yellow. His kit was the only object of that hue we saw during the first half. He was lenient from the outset allowing Sunderland to trip and foul unpunished. The first card was awarded after an hour to Bentley for a dive which was at the other end of the field from me but every match report Iâ€™ve read insists it should have been a penalty. Modric was later fiercely clattered by Cattermole who received also received a yellow. Amazing that the two incidents receive the same â€˜punishmentâ€™. Webb had a poor season last year and appears to be carrying on the bad work.
Bentley was unlucky to receive as much focus from the crowd as he did given the abject performance from Gareth Bale on the other wing. (Iâ€™m not suggesting the fans shouldâ€™ve got on Baleâ€™s back by the way). Whether faced by one man or two, the Welsh wonderkid could not find a way through and by the end seemed to be reverting to getting rid of the ball as quick as he could. Ten million will have come off his price as fast as it went on last week and possibly some of that may have been passed to Onouha who had an excellent game.
Where would we be without Van der Vaart? He was hugely influential in the first hour and scored after a neat headed knock down from Crouch. Suicidal defending gave away the equaliser after Kaboul and Gallas left a pass from Wellbeck to each other and Gyan was left free.
We went flat after that and created little else. Harry made no changes to try and spark things into life again. The evening could in fact have been worse. Some more arseing about at the back led to Gomes making an untimely challenge on Malbranque inches outside the area with a few minutes to go. Luckily the lino got it right and a free kick was awarded.
Few players emerged from the evening with added reputation, Van der Vaart as usual and I thought Assou-Ekotto and Modric had good games as did Kaboul and Gallas apart from the goal.
Given the injuries and new territory in the Moneybags League one shouldnâ€™t get carried away after a disappointing result and make over the top comments. It is though with more of a sigh than a cheer that Saturdayâ€™s visit of Blackburn is anticipated.
WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE GAME? Â HAVE YOUR SAY BELOW
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